Debbi Fields' Great American Desserts: 100 Mouthwatering Easytoprepare Recipes

Debbi Fields' Great American Desserts: 100 Mouthwatering Easytoprepare Recipes

by Debbi Fields

Debbi Fields, who turned a simple chocolate chip cookie into a national icon, understands America's love of desserts. In Debbi Fields' Great American Desserts, she offers 100 recipes bound to satisfy all dessert fans.


Debbi Fields, who turned a simple chocolate chip cookie into a national icon, understands America's love of desserts. In Debbi Fields' Great American Desserts, she offers 100 recipes bound to satisfy all dessert fans. Beautifully illustrated and lively, Debbi Fields' Great American Desserts presents Debbi's own down-to-earth style in easy, foolproof recipes for American favorites with delectable variations on many of them.
Try Debbi's classic Devil's Food Cake, then make her irresistible variation: four chocolate layers sandwiched with Dark Chocolate Fudge Ganache and Whipped Chocolate Espresso Filling, covered in White Chocolate Frosting. And if you think Debbi's Truffle Cake is to die for, just wait until you taste her Triple Truffle Cake. Prefer pie to cake? Then enjoy Paradise Key Lime Pie, or the heavenly Peanut Butter-Chocolate Mud Pie. Craving cheesecake? After you've baked Debbi's New York Style Cheesecake, move on to her Sweet Potato-Pecan Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust. In the mood for something simpler? Then Debbi's Banana Pudding or Strawberry-Peach Shortcake will fill the bill. And for cookie lovers, there are Caramel Macadamia Butter Cookies and Chocolate Swirled Shortbread.
With easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, and lavishly illustrated with seventy full-color photographs, Debbi Fields' Great American Desserts will inspire cooks and bakers everywhere to create and indulge in these supremely satisfying delights.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fields, of the Mrs. Fields' cookie chain, knows the kinds of desserts Americans like: rich, familiar and frequently chocolate. Eschewing the honorific in her third cookbook (after Mrs. Fields' Cookie Book and Mrs. Fields' I Love Chocolate Cook), which is being published simultaneously with the appearance of a PBS TV series of the same title, she covers expected family favorites, including layer cakes, pies, icebox desserts and cookies. Chocolate remains the most favored flavor, especially in such "signature" recipes as Debbi's Devil's Food Cake, Debbi's Chocolate Cream Pie, Debbi's Fudge Mousse, and Debbi's Flourless Fudge Brownies. Fields describes herself as "almost incapable of resisting the temptation to add extra ingredients." This proclivity leads to some excess, as in Peanut Butter, Fruit, and Nut Bars, the recipe for which includes a pecan-chocolate crust topped with peanut butter, chocolate chips, peanuts, almonds, apricots, dates and coconut. More appealing are simpler recipes such as Georgia Peach Butter Cake, Lemon-Berry Bars, Sweet Potato Pie and White Chocolate Bundt Cake. Throughout, recipes are clearly presented and often accompanied by illustrative photos, although discussion of technique is limited. 200,000 first printing; first serial to Family Circle; author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Bluestein and Morrissey are the authors of The 99% Fat-Free Cookbook of Appetizers and Desserts (LJ 2/15/96) and The 99% Fat-Free Cookbook (LJ 4/15/94), among other titles; this time around, they're indulging themselves. True, they do include a chapter of Healthy Cookies (low-fat, sugarless, and/or gluten-free), but there are dozens of recipes for such treats as Cappuccino-Filled Hazelnut Sandwiches, Three-Layer Brownies, and Macadamia Florentines. Instructions are particularly clear, and there is also a section on holiday cookies, from Christmas to Passover to Halloween. Highly recommended. Debbi Fields is Mrs. Fields of cookie shop fame (see Mrs. Fields Cookie Book, LJ 8/92); she has appeared often on the TV Food Network, and this book is the companion to a new PBS series. She offers lots of rich desserts, both her versions of classic favorites such as Coconut Cake and Banana Pudding and her dressed-up, more extravagant variations, such as Lemon-Cream Coconut Cake or Chocolate Banana Pudding. The recipes sound delicious, and her TV show will only increase her popularity. Recommended for most collections.

Product Details

Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
7.96(w) x 9.98(h) x 0.68(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Chocolate Cakes and Layer Cakes

You cannot talk about great American desserts without talking about cakes because American cooks have created a remarkable number of great cakes since this country was founded. The variety is astonishing! There are layer cakes and pound cakes; butter cakes, sponge cakes, and angel food cakes.

Entire books have been devoted to great cakes. With a chapter, not a book, to work with, I've limited myself to five equally delicious but very different types. It begins with the classic devil's food, dark and rich and tempting. My variation is filled with chocolate cream and covered with an irresistible white chocolate frosting. Tempting doesn't really begin to describe it!

Southern bakers made coconut cake a country-wide favorite. It could be one of the most beautiful cakes ever baked, and so are my two variations on the theme. Carrot cake may be the easiest way I know to get your kids to eat their vegetables! Both my versions, classic and chocolate, share one very important element: a luscious cream cheese frosting.

Before store-bought cakes were common, birthday cakes were homemade, and what made the best birthday cake hands down was a wonderfully light, moist yellow butter cake that took to any icing. My daughters have always chosen their own birthday cakes. Jennifer and Jenessa are both yellow-cake-with-fudge-frosting fans. My version is covered with an irresistible fudge frosting. It's paired with a peaches-and-cream variation that just might be the all-time perfect summer garden party or summer dessert cake. Blended with the right amount of brown sugar, this makes one of my favorites.

I began this chapter with devil's food cake, and I'm ending it with its polar opposite — angel food cake. I've also included a chocolate variation that's as light and airy as the original.

Serve one of these beauties to family and friends, and make any meal a special occasion.

Debbi's Devil's Food Cake

Makes 12 servings

Who doesn't love chocolate cake? And when it's the great American classic devil's food cake, I find it even harder to resist. I know it is in our house, especially for Randy. When we were first married, I created my own recipe for him and he was hooked! Now I make it not only every year for his birthday, but many times just to say "you're special."

This devil's food cake is rich and chocolatey and dark and moist. It's made with both cocoa and chocolate, and it has the most wonderful thick chocolate frosting, which I hope you'll use on other cakes as well. I always increase the frosting amounts on my cakes in self-defense! Randy eats his frosting first, then tries everyone else's. The girls keep "testing" while it's being made to be sure it still tastes the same — so it really disappears!

This cake is so easy to make, I'll bet you have all the ingredients already on hand in your cupboard. So, don't wait!

Equipment Needed:





6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 3/4 cups boiling water

1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising, see Tip: Self-rising Flour, page 35)

par2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


22 tablespoons (2 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

4 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter both cake pans. Line the bottom of each with a circle of wax paper cut to fit, and butter and flour the paper.

Make the cake layers:

2. Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Set aside to melt for 5 minutes. Add the cocoa, stir until smooth, and set aside to cool to room temperature.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

4. Put the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl and cream together until fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, using an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl. Beat in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and half of the chocolate mixture and beat to combine. Add the remaining chocolate mixture and beat on low speed until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean. Remove the cake pans to wire racks and let cool for 10 minutes. Invert the pans onto the racks and let cool completely.

Make the frosting:

6. Put the butter in a large bowl and cream until fluffy using an electric mixer on medium speed.

7. In another large bowl, whisk together the sugar and cocoa; beat one-third of the mixture into the butter. Beat in the vanilla. Add the remaining sugar-cocoa mixture and the milk, beating until the frosting is smooth.

Assemble the cake:

8. Place 1 layer of the cake, rounded side up, on a cake plate and slip strips of wax paper under the edge of the cake to cover the plate. With a metal spatula, generously frost the top. Arrange the remaining layer on top, rounded side up, and frost the sides and finally the top. Remove the wax-paper strips.

9. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip with some of the remaining frosting and pipe a border or rosettes or both on the top of the cake.

General Tips for Successful Baking

* When you soften your butter, don't let it turn to liquid; this produces a denser cake.

* The more you blend between adding each egg, the more air you add, creating a lighter, moister cake.

* Never forget to preheat your oven!

* Buy an oven thermometer and use it!

* Always bake cakes on the middle rack of the oven unless otherwise specified.

Copyright © 1996 by Debra J. Fields and Reid/Land Productions

Meet the Author

Debbi Fields opened her first Mrs. Fields cookie store at the age of twenty and saw her enterprise grow into a company of 700 domestic and international stores. She has written four books, including One Smart Cookie, Mrs. Fields' Cookie Book — the first cookbook to make the New York Times bestseller list — and Mrs. Fields' I Love Chocolate Cookbook. Debbi is a motivational speaker and mother of five daughters and resides in Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband and family.

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